Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will make his debut as Manchester United’s caretaker manager against former employers Cardiff City on Saturday.
Manchester United will go head to head against Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City in Wales this weekend, in what will be caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in-charge.
The 45-year-old former Manchester United striker was brought in by the club as a replacement for Jose Mourinho, who was sacked after the humiliating defeat against Liverpool last weekend.
Ahead of his big debut this weekend, the manager claimed that with the glut of games lined up ahead, each of the squad member would be getting a fair amount of opportunities to stake a claim for a regular berth in his starting XI.
Speaking in his first ever press conference as the Manchester United manager, Solskjaer said, “We need results but, then again, every player needs to know that they’re probably going to get their chance in this period, because that’s just the nature of the game over here in England, that we have to rotate. The job now is to get to know the players, observe them, see the qualities that we’ve got.”
David de Gea is a certain starter in goal for the Red Devils on Saturday. There are a few injury concerns in defence for the new manager, however, with Chris Smalling still unfit, after injuring himself during warm-ups prior to the Liverpool game. Marcos Rojo too is unlikely to be involved as he recovers from the injury he picked up against Valencia.
That would mean Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof are likely to hold on to their spots at the heart of the Manchester United backline. Diogo Dalot is expected to be given another chance at right-back this weekend, despite a difficult outing last time out. Luke Shaw is fit again and has travelled with the squad, but Ashley Young could get the nod at left-back to add some experience at the back.
Paul Pogba had been somewhat frozen out by Mourinho in recent weeks, with the Frenchman not starting three Premier League games in a row. But, that is set to change now, with Solskjaer likely to recall the 25-year-old back into the starting XI on Saturday.
The World Cup winner is likely to be partnered by Ander Herrera, while Nemanja Matic is expected to continue as the deepest of the midfielders for Manchester United, meaning summer signing Fred misses out again.
Manchester United will be without the services of star attackers Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, the manager confirmed prior to the game. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Norwegian said, “Romelu has had a couple of days off, so I’ve not seen him yet. That was decided before [I arrived], so that’s fine. I’ve not seen Alexis, because he’s on his way back as well.”
With Lukaku ruled out, Marcus Rashford is set to spearhead the attack for the Red Devils against the Bluebirds. Support from the flanks will be provided by Jesse Lingard, who scored against Liverpool, and Anthony Martial, who is the leading goalscorer for the club this season.